2011 WAN Acceleration

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1 2011 WAN Acceleration State of the Market January 2011 Russ Klein, Jim Rapoza ~ Underwritten, in Part, by ~

2 Page 2 Executive Summary In modern distributed businesses, the nature of the network and how data is delivered has changed greatly. With companies increasingly spread out and virtual in structure, the connection over the WAN is more important than ever. WAN acceleration solutions meet this challenge by helping enterprises improve performance over the WAN, reduce overall costs related to network issues and, most importantly, improve the experience of customers and users. And as technologies such as VOIP and unified communications, along with greater use of the cloud as an application platform become more common, WAN acceleration providers are making sure that their systems provide the same improved experience for these technologies as they do for traditional network systems and applications. Research Benchmark Aberdeen s Research Benchmarks provide an in-depth and comprehensive look into process, procedure, methodologies, and technologies with best practice identification and actionable recommendations Best-in-Class Performance Aberdeen used the following three key performance criteria to distinguish Best-in-Class companies: 72.9% overall bandwidth utilization 65.8% of network performance issues corrected before impacting end-user productivity or experience 38.6% year-over-year improvement in network throughput Competitive Maturity Assessment Survey results show that the firms enjoying Best-in-Class performance shared several common characteristics, including: 34% more likely to have high visibility into network and application performance Have greater centralization with half the number of locally managed network resources Twice as likely to prioritize business critical applications on the WAN "We need to supply WiFi access to our fleet of vehicles and technicians. We are on a private network, so uptime and redundancy are top priorities." ~ Jeff Vogstad, IT Manager Coast Mountain Bus Company North America Required Actions In addition to the specific recommendations in Chapter Three of this report, to achieve Best-in-Class performance, companies must: Gain visibility into network performance and business critical applications Use APIs to integrate WAN acceleration with network management platforms Explore predictive analytics to improve results and prevent problems before they occur This document is the result of primary research performed by Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen Group's methodologies provide for objective fact-based research and represent the best analysis available at the time of publication. Unless otherwise noted, the entire contents of this publication are copyrighted by Aberdeen Group, Inc. and may not be reproduced, distributed, archived, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent by Aberdeen Group, Inc.

3 Page 3 Table of Contents Executive Summary...2 Best-in-Class Performance...2 Competitive Maturity Assessment...2 Required Actions...2 Chapter One: Benchmarking the Best-in-Class...4 Business Context...4 The Maturity Class Framework...5 The Best-in-Class PACE Model...7 Best-in-Class Strategies...7 Chapter Two: Benchmarking Requirements for Success...9 Competitive Assessment...10 Capabilities and Enablers...11 Chapter Three: Required Actions...15 Laggard Steps to Success...15 Industry Average Steps to Success...15 Best-in-Class Steps to Success...16 Appendix A: Research Methodology...19 Appendix B: Related Aberdeen Research...21 Featured Underwriters...22 Figures Figure 1: Business Drivers Compelling IT Managers to Consider WAN Acceleration Solutions...4 Figure 2: Top IT-Initiatives Creating a Need for Better Network Performance...5 Figure 3: End-User Satisfaction with Network Performance...6 Figure 4: Best-in-Class Strategic Approaches to WAN Acceleration...7 Figure 5: Best-in-Class Strategic Approaches to WAN Acceleration...12 Figure 6: Impact of WAN Acceleration on Other Business Processes Improvement...14 Figure 7: Best-in-Class Technology Adoption Roadmap...18 Tables Table 1: Top Performers Earn Best-in-Class Status...6 Table 2: The Best-in-Class PACE Framework...7 Table 3: The Cost of WAN Acceleration...8 Table 4: The Competitive Framework...10 Table 5: The PACE Framework Key...20 Table 6: The Competitive Framework Key...20 Table 7: The Relationship Between PACE and the Competitive Framework...20

4 Page 4 Chapter One: Benchmarking the Best-in-Class Business Context Ever since companies first started delivering applications over WANs, there have been performance issues with those applications (in Figure 1, 81% of survey respondents list bandwidth requirements from applications as a driver for WAN acceleration). And the traditional way that most companies decided to deal with poorly performing applications was to throw more hardware and bandwidth at the problem. This solution was often expensive, increased both power and resource costs in the data center, required more work from IT staff, and, sometimes, it might have helped a little bit with the application performance (though often it didn t help at all). However, Bestin-Class organizations realized that the real problem with application performance over the WAN was that they were dealing with noisy and varied connections that did not do a good job at delivering data and had no understanding of the difference between important and real-time data and data that did not need to be prioritized. Fast Facts 64% of IT managers surveyed identify VoIP deployment s the top reason their organization is devoting resources to WAN acceleration In 2010, top performing organizations spent an average of less than $38 per employee on WAN acceleration solutions, less than half of what the Industry Average spend in that category Figure 1: Business Drivers Compelling IT Managers to Consider WAN Acceleration Solutions Increasing bandwidth requirements from applications or services 81% Increasing demands of remote workforce 54% Data communications is too expensive Need to improve responsiveness to internal customers Employee productivity is unsatisfactory or could be improved IT support staff experiencing too many complaints 34% 31% 30% 28% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Percent of Respondents The Best-in-Class have not only used WAN optimization to improve these connections and make sure that applications and services are being delivered efficiently and effectively over the WAN, they have also gained the

5 Page 5 benefits of improved insight into their application and service usage and greater security and protection against data loss. These steps have improved efficiency not only in the data center, but have tied in their remote workforce and branch offices more directly into the company infrastructure by providing better access to core applications and services such as VOIP, Unified Communications (UC) and other enterprise applications (Figure 2). Figure 2: Top IT-Initiatives Creating a Need for Better Network Performance VoIP deployments 64% Data center consolidation Video-conferencing deployment Server virtualization Data centralization Redesign of backup systems Rich media applications Private cloud initiatives 50% 47% 47% 44% 36% 30% 30% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Percent of Respondents The Maturity Class Framework Waste of resources is one of the main challenges of the data center, whether it is measured in employee productivity, infrastructure usage, or power consumption. Best-in-Class organizations are maintaining performance while using a higher percentage of their bandwidth and network resources. Therefore Aberdeen used three key performance criteria to distinguish the Best-in-Class from Industry Average and Laggard organizations: Overall bandwidth utilization Percent of network performance issues corrected before impacting end-user productivity or experience Year-over-year change in network throughput

6 Page 6 Table 1: Top Performers Earn Best-in-Class Status Definition of Maturity Class Best-in-Class: Top 20% of aggregate performance scorers Industry Average: Middle 50% of aggregate performance scorers Laggard: Bottom 30% of aggregate performance scorers Mean Class Performance 72.9% overall bandwidth utilization 65.8% of network performance issues corrected before impacting end-user productivity or experience 38.6% year-over-year improvement in network throughput 41.7% overall bandwidth utilization 16.3% of network performance issues corrected before impacting end-user productivity or experience 38.6% year-over-year improvement in network throughput 5.5% overall bandwidth utilization 2.6% of network performance issues corrected before impacting end-user productivity or experience 2.4% year-over-year decrease in network throughput In addition, Best-in-Class organizations enjoyed much greater improvement in end-user satisfaction with network performance (Figure 3). Although this metric was not used to determine which companies are the top performers, there is clearly a strong correlation between success in the three KPIs and improvement in user satisfaction. Figure 3: End-User Satisfaction with Network Performance 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 18% 9% 39% 37% Increased greatly Increased 2% 19% 0% Best-in-Class Average Laggard

7 Page 7 The Best-in-Class PACE Model Using WAN optimization to achieve corporate goals requires a combination of strategic actions, organizational capabilities, and enabling technologies that can be summarized as shown in Table 2. Table 2: The Best-in-Class PACE Framework Pressures Actions Capabilities Enablers Accommodate increasing bandwidth demands from applications and services while reducing cost and maintaining end-user satisfaction. Maximize utilization of the existing infrastructure Increase network capacity Best-in-Class Strategies Visibility into network performance Centralized network performance management activities Business-critical applications are prioritized Bandwidth use is measured Use of the public Internet is monitored Based on the data from this survey, Best-in-Class organizations were clearly driven by the need to maximize efficiency of network resources (Figure 4) where 50% of these top performing companies focus on maximizing utilization of infrastructure. They also agree that having a deep understanding of how the network is being used and what types of resources are required by applications makes it easier to improve efficiency. With these twin goals of visibility into network resource usage and full utilization of network resources, they were more inclined to centralize application and service management. Figure 4: Best-in-Class Strategic Approaches to WAN Acceleration 56% TCP acceleration 50% Application-specific optimizations 50% Compression 28% API for integration with other network management platforms Maximize the utilization of existing infrastructure Increase network capacity 44% 47% Centralize WAN optimization activities and responsibilities 36% Get understanding of / visibility into what is happening on the network Design and deploy new enterprise networking strategy 30% 30% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Percent of Respondents

8 Page 8 Aberdeen Insights Strategy There is often a perception that achieving great success, especially when it comes to network infrastructure projects, usually correlates with spending lots of money and having the resources of a very large company at hand. However, the results of this survey show a much different picture, with the Best-in-Class organizations tending to be smaller than the Industry Average (at 63% the size of the Industry Average as shown in Table 3) and Laggard companies, and with the Best-in-Class spending much less per headcount (spending a third as much as Laggard organizations) and as a percentage of total telecom cost. Table 3: The Cost of WAN Acceleration Total Employee Headcount WAN Acceleration Technology Spend per Headcount WAN Acceleration Technology Spend as a Percentage of Total Telecom Cost Planned Budget Increase for WAN Acceleration Solutions in 2011 Best-in-Class Industry Average Laggard 7, $37.71 $98.37 $ % 13.4% 10.5% 4.4% 4.0% 3.0% "In today's economic climate, the business case for new IT investment must be tighter, with real ROI. To get the encryption we needed and to accommodate new user demands, we needed and alternative to just investing in more bandwidth." ~ Johan Beuk, Marketing Manager Telindus ISIT Utrecht, Netherlands To a large degree this points toward the effectiveness of a well implemented and managed WAN acceleration solution. WAN acceleration is all about improving network efficiency, getting the most out of core enterprise applications and delivering them to users without having to invest in more bandwidth and data center hardware. In the next chapter, we will see what the top performers are doing to achieve these gains.

9 Page 9 Chapter Two: Benchmarking Requirements for Success The selection of a WAN acceleration solution and integration with business intelligence and business process management systems plays a crucial role in the ability to turn these strategies into profit. Case Study Major University in Cambridge MA, USA As reported in Aberdeen's July 2010 publication, Lowering the TCO of Campus-Wide Multi-Site Wireless LANs in Higher Ed, university IT departments like the one at Harvard, are responding to increasing demand for wireless LAN coverage, the top pressure identified by 43% of higher education CTOs. However, much like the Best-in-Class identified in today's study, they were able to serve more than three times the number of users, nearly triple their network throughput, and more than double their uptime performance while only increasing their networking budgets (as a percentage of total IT spend) by less than 2%. "We have centralized management of our network, the wired network, the wireless networks, and our wide-area infrastructure, into a single department," says the CTO of a major New England university. "Having one central view of all of our network traffic gives us the flexibility to respond quickly when bottlenecks are identified and to handle what I can only classify as 'explosive' growth in demand for rich media, real-time communications, and other very bandwidth-intensive applications that our students and faculty expect to be able to access no matter where they are on campus." In addition to centralizing their network management activities, top performing IT specialists are taking advantage of software and hardware tools that enable more flexible routing of traffic, dynamic provisioning of bandwidth, and the identification of high-priority applications. "Not only are we measuring everything, every endpoint, every request for data, and every communication into and out from our network, but we are applying compression and acceleration technologies strategically throughout the system and encrypting the data that must, by law, be protected. All of these activities and precautions introduce added latency to our core systems as they must manage a heavier load. Yet we are not able at this point to buy more bandwidth. So we have to get creative." Creativity, in the data center management world, means being proactive, anticipating the spikes and the bottlenecks before they result in user complains or loss of data. "Our goal is to be able to double our network throughput again this year without buying any more network services. The only way we are going to be able to accomplish this is by maximizing the utilization of our existing infrastructure and compressing our existing traffic to the greatest extent possible." Fast Facts 56% of the Best-in-Cass are using TCP acceleration technologies, nearly twice that of their Laggard peers IT managers who use WAN optimization solutions in their data centers are more likely to report general corporate performance improvement - notably, they report more than twice the improvement in financial audit performance and onethird greater improvement in overall business process execution

10 Page 10 Competitive Assessment Aberdeen Group analyzed the aggregated metrics of surveyed companies to determine whether their performance ranked as Best-in-Class, Industry Average, or Laggard. In addition to having common performance levels, each class also shared characteristics in five key categories: (1) process (the approaches they take to execute daily operations); (2) organization (corporate focus and collaboration among stakeholders); (3) knowledge management (contextualizing data and exposing it to key stakeholders); (4) technology (the selection of the appropriate tools and the effective deployment of those tools); and (5) performance management (the ability of the organization to measure its results to improve its business). These characteristics (identified in Table 4) serve as a guideline for best practices, and correlate directly with Best-in-Class performance across the key metrics. Table 4: The Competitive Framework Process Organization Knowledge Technology Performance Best-in-Class Average Laggards Visibility into network performance 82% 78% 48% Centralized network performance management activities 70% 66% 53% Prioritized business-critical applications 66% 60% 29% Ability to predict resulting impact on network performance prior to making upgrade decisions 41% 29% 20% WAN acceleration technology currently in use: 56% TCP 49% TCP 33% TCP acceleration acceleration acceleration 50% 47% 36% Applicationspecifispecifispecific Application- Application- optimizations optimizations optimizations 50% 46% 38% Compression Compression Compression 28% API for 21% API for 20% API for integration with integration with integration with other network other network other network management management management platforms platforms platforms Bandwidth utilization is measured 84% 80% 71% Use of the public Internet is monitored 76% 71% 63% "As part of our initiative to provide redundant connectivity and encrypted links, we are using a combination of reports from our network provider and the reporting from our internal WAN accelerators to understand what is happening on our network." ~ Steve Magowan, IT Manager Dril-Quip (Europe) Ltd. Aberdeen, Scotland

11 Page 11 Capabilities and Enablers Based on the findings of the Competitive Framework and interviews with end users, Aberdeen s analysis of the Best-in-Class demonstrates that deep insight and knowledge of how an organization s network and applications are being used translates into a successful WAN optimization deployment for the Best-in-Class. It turns out that, at least when it comes to WAN optimization, knowledge really is power. Process Having an IT culture that looks for deep understanding of resource utilization almost always leads to an organization that is ahead of the curve when it comes to finding problems and addressing them. The top performing organizations clearly have this understanding as they reported very high (at 82%) percentages of visibility into their network performance. Conversely, Laggards at 48% had much lower visibility and, no surprise, were most likely to not even know that they needed WAN optimization. Due to their strong visibility into their network usage, leaders were able to detect problem points in applications and services early on and move to fix them. Laggards didn t know there was a problem until things broke down. Organization One main challenge of network performance management has been the balance of applications and services that need to be provided and managed locally at branches and offices versus those that can be managed centrally. The benefits in central management, in areas such as cost, control and security, are obvious, so nearly all companies have been working to centralize as many applications and services as possible. In many cases this has meant simply prioritizing which applications work well for central deployment versus those that need to be local, such as printing or DNS. Best-in-Class companies have been able to leverage WAN acceleration to greatly decrease the number of applications and services that need to be delivered locally, with nearly half the required local services of Industry Average and Laggard organizations. Figure 5 shows Best-in-Class organizations with 15% localized applications and Industry Average and Laggards with nearly twice the number of localized applications and services, at 28% and 29% respectively.

12 Page 12 Figure 5: Best-in-Class Require Fewer Services and Applications Delivered Locally Percent of Services and Applications Delivered Locally 30% 20% 10% 0% 15% 28% 29% Best-in-Class Average Laggard Knowledge Management When it comes to WAN optimization, knowledge is the key differentiator between successful implementations and Laggards. WAN acceleration is, in many ways, about determining which applications and services require the highest levels of WAN optimization and understanding the impact of applications and services on WAN and network resources. In this area, Best-in-Class organizations clearly out performed the Laggards, with over twice the insight into which important applications required WAN prioritization and the benefits of WAN acceleration (at 66% for Best-in- Class versus 29% for Laggards). This deep knowledge also gave the Best-in- Class significant advantages over Industry Average and Laggard organizations when it came to improving and upgrading services, giving them the ability to predict the impact of these upgrades and get the most out of their upgrade decisions, with 41% of the Best-in-Class having the ability to predict upgrade results and only 20% of Laggards reporting the same capability. "Even though there is no money to invest at this time, we still need to keep up with technology. In our case, this includes providing WiFi access in all public areas. Though our sites may be as much as 200 miles apart, we have decided to centralize our network management and WAN optimization activities." ~ Veronica Kammler, Procurement for Clark County Nevada Technology No technology solution works if a company doesn t use it. Across the board, the Best-in-Class organizations implemented WAN acceleration solutions at a higher rate than Industry Average and Laggard organizations. These included the use of compression and TCP acceleration to provide improved WAN performance across the board and the use of specific optimizations to boost the performance of specific applications, such as VOIP or storage. Most significantly, the Best-in-Class made higher use of API integration with other network management systems (with 28% using API integration), allowing WAN acceleration to become a vital part of other network management areas such as monitoring and security.

13 Page 13 Performance Management While knowledge of how applications and services are used is vital to good WAN acceleration deployment, constant awareness of resource usage is also key for successful organizations. Best-in-Class organizations consistently out performed Industry Average and Laggard companies when it came to monitoring and measuring bandwidth usage and public internet use. This kind of tracking (84% for Best-in-Class as opposed to 71% for Laggards) makes it possible for the Best-in-Class to quickly identify and address problems and issues in WAN connections and performance, as well as get early warnings of issues with high-priority applications. Aberdeen Insights Technology When used properly, WAN acceleration technologies have a positive business impact that extends well beyond the IT layer of the organization. Typically, when asked, an IT manager has little to no visibility into the overall efficiency of the organization. There is little data available at that level to link general business efficiency to the activities of IT. However, Aberdeen's research shows that while the results may be subjective, there is an overwhelming correlation between the use of WAN acceleration solutions and the feedback that the IT department gets from the rest of the business. If only one or two of these arguably subjective metrics correlated with the use of WAN acceleration, we might dismiss them as coincidental. However, the fact that all of the perceived business performance metrics reported by the IT department correlated directly with the use of WAN acceleration indicates that there is a distinct and measurable advantage to the business as a whole in employing WAN acceleration solutions to enable improvement in the execution of critical business processes. continued "We transfer large quantities of ultrasound images to a central lab for processing. We also outsource some of our image processing to a third-party. Of course the market is competitive and we can't afford to rely on a single vendor for our networking services. Because of this complexity, we use our monitoring tools to measure each and every file transfer from a remote or mobile user." ~ Bruce Thompson, CIO SanTech Consulting North America

14 Page 14 Aberdeen Insights Technology Figure 6: Impact of WAN Acceleration on Other Business Processes Improvement Ability to share data across departments Overall business process execution 38% 42% 55% 52% Knowledge-worker access to information Overall innovation execution success Accuracy of business-critical information Ability to respond to exceptions and disasters 30% 26% 32% 23% 39% 50% 45% 44% Reporting accuracy Workforce scheduling effectiveness Financial audit performance 15% 21% 27% 36% 35% 33% Percent of Respondents 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%

15 Page 15 Chapter Three: Required Actions Whether a company is trying to move its performance in WAN acceleration from Laggard to Industry Average, or Industry Average to Bestin-Class, the following actions will help spur the necessary performance improvements: Fast Facts The Best-in-Class are more than twice as likely to prioritize business-critical applications Laggard Steps to Success The Best-in-Class are 1/3 Gain visibility into network performance. If your business doesn t really understand how the network and WAN are being used, and the types of resource demands that applications have, then your business is clearly not ready to deploy a WAN acceleration solution. The first step to optimizing network performance is gaining an understanding of how it is currently being used. Based on the survey, only 48% of Laggards reported having good visibility into network performance issues. Laggard organizations should monitor and analyze their networks and applications in order to learn where their bottlenecks and troublespots reside and how to best optimize their resources. Prioritize business-critical applications. Making sure that your organization's core business applications are performing well for all remote and office workers is key to WAN acceleration. Your network should never let a recreational video, real-time music feed, or large file download eat-up resources from your VOIP system or CRM applications. While 66% of the Best-in-Class were prioritizing business-critical applications, only 29% of Laggards had the same ability. By learning how to effectively identify and prioritize business critical applications and services, Laggards can properly tune their WAN acceleration solutions to make sure that the network devotes the needed bandwidth and resources to these applications. Adopt TCP Acceleration. According to the report data, only 33% of Laggards reported the use of TCP acceleration, putting them well behind their peers in utilizing TCP acceleration in order to improve WAN performance. This is of course a consequence of their failure to have visibility into their network usage and inability to understand which applications need to be prioritized on the network. Without this knowledge, it is difficult to properly carry out TCP tuning and acceleration to gain the needed performance boost. By gaining the skills and tools needed to effectively implement TCP acceleration, Laggards can begin to get more payback from their WAN acceleration solutions. Industry Average Steps to Success Monitor use of the public Internet. Industry Average organizations have an opportunity to learn how their employee's more likely than all others to have APIs in place for integrating WAN acceleration and network monitoring systems across their enterprise infrastructure.

16 Page 16 access the public Internet and understand what effect this usage has on overall WAN performance. While 71% of the Industry Average indicated that they monitor public Internet use, there is room for improvement in order to gain a good understanding and avoid taking actions based on misconceptions. There are commonly held beliefs about the impact of activities such as online-shopping and public events on company bandwidth (for example, expect high traffic demands on Black Monday and during March Madness), but this isn't always the case. By monitoring employee Internet usage, Industry Average organizations may find that high-traffic events are actually work related (for example, everyone accessing a web conferencing app at the same time each day) and can work on improved business processes to fix network demands and optimize their WAN acceleration solutions. Centralize network performance management activities. The Best-in-Class are more likely to have concentrated many of their important business applications and services centrally as opposed to locally. This provides benefits in ease of management and reduced resource demands but also pays dividends when it comes to the effectiveness of WAN acceleration. Industry Average organizations have made good strides at centralizing network management systems and applications but with 28% of these systems still localized, they need to do better to reach the 15% localized services reported by the Best-in-Class. By maximizing their ability to centralize applications and cutting down on the number of services that run locally at branches and offices, organizations can elevate many of their capabilities to those of the Best-in-Class. Integrate network monitoring across platforms. The Best-in- Class are 1/3 more likely than all other companies to have APIs in place for integrating WAN acceleration and network monitoring systems across their enterprise infrastructure. This type of integration makes it possible to bring optimization and monitoring to systems that are cloud-based or provided as SaaS, and can also create a holistic view of how resources and data are being used and consumed across an organization's entire infrastructure. Industry Average companies can use this type of deep integration to greatly improve their network performance and their visibility into application and network performance. Best-in-Class Steps to Success Engage in application-specific optimizations. Despite the fact that this is a Best-in-Class capability, only half of the top performing companies surveyed are already building optimizations geared towards specific business critical applications. But, while application specific optimizations can be time-consuming and complex, they can also pay off handsomely when it comes to WAN acceleration. Think of it like buying a hybrid car but not bothering to figure out the "All of our offices utilize a wireless LAN. We use wireless technologies for our guest network, wireless devices and for an DR/BC purpose where our wired LAN is not functioning. We use software tools, reports from our service providers, and monitor traffic through our firewall. " ~ Marc Crudginton Director of IT Advantage Sales and Marketing Irvine, CA

17 Page 17 shortest routes to your destinations that can cut your drive time in half. In the same way, compression and TCP acceleration will offer some network bandwidth improvement but application-specific optimizations can often provide the biggest bang for the buck, not only in making sure that core applications have the highest network priority, but also in avoiding application specific slowdowns and bottlenecks. Explore the application of predictive analytics. The financial side of your organization understands the importance of forecasting and predictive analytics and how to use these tools to avoid problems and maximize returns. Similarly, your network management team needs to be taking advantage of predictive analytics to maximize WAN and application performance and avoid problems before they happen. Forty-one percent (41%) of Best-in- Class organizations are taking advantage of the visibility they have into their resources to predict the potential results of system upgrades. This type of analytics usage can potentially go even further, for example in the ability to detect potential WAN and application problems before they happen or analyze the potential impact of WAN integrations from a merger or acquisition. Aberdeen Insights Summary To this point, much of the activity within organizations has been in improving the ability to monitor WAN network and application performance and quality of service and connections. This makes sense, given the importance of good visibility into network usage and how well the Bestin-Class have taken advantage of this knowledge. However, going forward, if more companies want to move into Best-in-Class performance levels, there will need to be more examples of putting that knowledge into action. In the next year, over 30% of all respondents are planning to boost their use of APIs for network integration and also increase the centralization of WAN optimization and acceleration. These steps will allow these organizations to improve the effectiveness of their WAN acceleration solutions and also increase their ability to expand the benefits of optimization to emerging technology areas such as cloud-computing and mobile devices. continued

18 Page 18 Aberdeen Insights Summary Figure 7: Best-in-Class Technology Adoption Roadmap Current Planned within 12 months Planned beyond 12 months Capacity planning based on historic data 70% 24% 6% Packet flow data is analyzed 58% 27% 6% Transaction-level network performance monitoring 53% 31% 9% Real-time view of packet streams 41% 25% 19% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Percent of Respondents And for many organizations, improved WAN acceleration and optimization can t come soon enough. Modern technology isn t easing the demand on network resources, in fact, it's pushing these resources to the limit every day.

19 Page 19 Appendix A: Research Methodology From December 2010 through January 2011, Aberdeen examined the use, the experiences, and the intentions of more than 200 enterprises using WAN technologies in a diverse set of enterprises. Aberdeen supplemented this online survey effort with telephone interviews with select survey respondents, gathering additional information on WAN Acceleration strategies, experiences, and results. Responding enterprises included the following: Job title: The research sample included respondents with the following job titles: CEO / President, EVP / SVP / VP (22%); Director (19%); Manager (28%); Staff (15%). Department / function: The research sample included respondents from the following departments or functions: IT manager or staff (56%); business development (9%); and corporate management (8%). Industry: The research sample included respondents from telecom industries (21%), IT Services (18%), software and hardware companies (11%), and less than 5% from each of more than 15 other industries. Geography: The majority of respondents (74%) were from North America. Remaining respondents were from Europe (11%), the Asia-Pacific region (9%) and elsewhere (6%). Company size: Thirty-seven percent (37%) of respondents were from large enterprises (annual revenues above US $1 billion); 22% were from midsize enterprises (annual revenues between $50 million and $1 billion); and 41% of respondents were from small businesses (annual revenues of $50 million or less). Headcount: Thirty-eight percent (38%) of respondents were from large enterprises (headcount greater than 1,000 employees); 24% were from midsize enterprises (headcount between 100 and 999 employees); and 38% of respondents were from small businesses (headcount between 1 and 99 employees). Study Focus Responding executives completed an online survey that included questions designed to determine the following: The degree to which WAN Acceleration is deployed in their operations and the financial implications of the technology The structure and effectiveness of existing WAN implementations Current and planned use of WAN Management Solutions to aid operational activities The benefits, if any, that have been derived from WAN Acceleration initiatives The study aimed to identify emerging best practices for WAN monitoring, visibility, and acceleration and to provide a framework by which readers could assess their own management capabilities.

20 Page 20 Table 5: The PACE Framework Key Overview Aberdeen applies a methodology to benchmark research that evaluates the business pressures, actions, capabilities, and enablers (PACE) that indicate corporate behavior in specific business processes. These terms are defined as follows: Pressures external forces that impact an organization s market position, competitiveness, or business operations (e.g., economic, political and regulatory, technology, changing customer preferences, competitive) Actions the strategic approaches that an organization takes in response to industry pressures (e.g., align the corporate business model to leverage industry opportunities, such as product / service strategy, target markets, financial strategy, go-to-market, and sales strategy) Capabilities the business process competencies required to execute corporate strategy (e.g., skilled people, brand, market positioning, viable products / services, ecosystem partners, financing) Enablers the key functionality of technology solutions required to support the organization s enabling business practices (e.g., development platform, applications, network connectivity, user interface, training and support, partner interfaces, data cleansing, and management) Table 6: The Competitive Framework Key Overview The Aberdeen Competitive Framework defines enterprises as falling into one of the following three levels of practices and performance: Best-in-Class (20%) Practices that are the best currently being employed and are significantly superior to the Industry Average, and result in the top industry performance. Industry Average (50%) Practices that represent the average or norm, and result in average industry performance. Laggards (30%) Practices that are significantly behind the average of the industry, and result in below average performance. In the following categories: Process What is the scope of process standardization? What is the efficiency and effectiveness of this process? Organization How is your company currently organized to manage and optimize this particular process? Knowledge What visibility do you have into key data and intelligence required to manage this process? Technology What level of automation have you used to support this process? How is this automation integrated and aligned? Performance What do you measure? How frequently? What s your actual performance? Table 7: The Relationship Between PACE and the Competitive Framework PACE and the Competitive Framework How They Interact Aberdeen research indicates that companies that identify the most influential pressures and take the most transformational and effective actions are most likely to achieve superior performance. The level of competitive performance that a company achieves is strongly determined by the PACE choices that they make and how well they execute those decisions.

21 Page 21 Appendix B: Related Aberdeen Research Related Aberdeen research that forms a companion or reference to this report includes: Application Performance Management: The Lifecycle Approach Brings IT and Business Together; June 2008 Monitoring the End-User Experience: Improving Business Performance through Application Management; June 2009 Business Adoption of Cloud Computing; September 2009 Optimizing the Performance of Web Applications - Directions for Improvement; October 2009 The APM Lifecycle: Improving End-User Experience With a Holistic Approach to Application Performance Management; February 2010 The CIO's View of Security and Cloud Computing; June 2010 End-User Experience Monitoring and Management; August 2010 Extending APM: Managing Application Performance Inside and Outside the Firewall; December 2010 Information on these and any other Aberdeen publications can be found at Author: Russ Klein, VP and Group Director, IT Research, For more than two decades, Aberdeen's research has been helping corporations worldwide become Best-in-Class. Having benchmarked the performance of more than 644,000 companies, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to provide organizations with the facts that matter the facts that enable companies to get ahead and drive results. That's why our research is relied on by more than 2.5 million readers in over 40 countries, 90% of the Fortune 1,000, and 93% of the Technology 500. As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen s research provides insight and analysis to the Harte-Hanks community of local, regional, national and international marketing executives. Combined, we help our customers leverage the power of insight to deliver innovative multichannel marketing programs that drive business-changing results. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) , or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) or go to This document is the result of primary research performed by Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen Group's methodologies provide for objective fact-based research and represent the best analysis available at the time of publication. Unless otherwise noted, the entire contents of this publication are copyrighted by Aberdeen Group, Inc. and may not be reproduced, distributed, archived, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent by Aberdeen Group, Inc. (2011a)

22 Page 22 Featured Underwriters This research report was made possible, in part, with the financial support of our underwriters. These individuals and organizations share Aberdeen s vision of bringing fact based research to corporations worldwide at little or no cost. Underwriters have no editorial or research rights, and the facts and analysis of this report remain an exclusive production and product of Aberdeen Group. Solution providers recognized as underwriters were solicited after the fact and had no substantive influence on the direction of this report. Their sponsorship has made it possible for Aberdeen Group to make these findings available to readers at no charge. Exinda is a proven global supplier of Traffic Shaping & WAN Optimization products with thousands of network deployments in more than 80 countries. The Exinda Unified Performance Management (UPM) solution encompasses application visibility, control, optimization and intelligent acceleration all within a single network appliance that is affordable and easy to manage. Founded in 2002, Exinda is headquartered in Andover, MA with regional offices in Canada and the United Kingdom to support the growing global demand for its products and services. Exinda also invests heavily in ongoing Research and Development, in its Melbourne, Australia facilities. For additional information on Exinda: Kevin Suitor Vice President, Marketing Exinda 20 Bay Street, Suite 1100 Toronto, ON M5J 2N8 Telephone: (416)

23 Page 23 XO Communications is a leading provider of 21st century communications services for businesses and communications services providers, including 50 percent of the Fortune 500 and leading cable companies, carriers, content providers and mobile operators. Utilizing its unique and powerful nationwide IP network, extensive local metro networks and broadband wireless facilities, XO offers customers a broad range of managed voice, data and IP services in more than 80 metropolitan markets across the United States. For additional information on XO Communications: XO Communications Sunrise Valley Drive Herndon, VA Telephone: (703)

24 Page 24 Zeus software enables our customers to create, manage and deliver exceptional online services in Physical, Virtual and Cloud environments. Implementing a Zeus solution allows organizations to visualize and manipulate the flow of traffic to web-enabled applications, ensuring a consistently robust web infrastructure and providing the competitive advantage online businesses need. For additional information on Zeus Technology: Zeus Technology 1875 South Grant St, Suite 720 San Matteo, CA Telephone: (888)

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